The West Bengal Co-operative Milk Producers' Federation Ltd (WBCMPFL), owner of the popular Mother Dairy brand, has forayed into the lucrative mineral water business with the launch of its packaged drinking water in Kolkata.
The product, which has been priced competitively at Rs 10 for one litre, will compete against multinationals such as Aquafina, Kinley and the desi biggie, Bisleri.
The product will be available in West Bengal through the nearly the 1000 outlets of Mother Dairy and its channel partners.
"We will bank on the strong brand identity of Mother Dairy, which has become a household name in West Bengal. Hopefully, this one would also go down well with market," Trinath K Sinha, managing director of WBCMPFL, said, while launching the product here on Monday.
The federation does not manufacture the packaged water itself.
Instead, it has reached an arrangement with Paul Aquamin & Food (P) Ltd for outsourcing the packaged water.
Initially, the federation will produce 15,000 litre per day, which could be scaled up to 30,000 litre/day if required.
Mother Dairy has not carried out any market survey on the packaged drinking water business in Kolkata.
When asked how it would survive the huge promotional activities undertaken by MNCs, Sinha expressed hope that the efficient marketing network of Mother Dairy, strong brandname and fast changing health habits would ensure success for the venture.
Commenting on its core business, milk and milk products, Sinha said the federation was working on plans to reach those parts of the state, where its marketing network was weak.
It would set up two satellite dairies, one at Panskura in Midnapur and the other in Purshura near Aramabagh in Hooghly to cater to neighboring markets.
"A large share of the 4.5 lakh litre of milk that Mother Dairy produces daily at Dankuni is supplied to the various districts of West Bengal by private operators, who sell it at a premium. If we can service those areas directly, prices would drop automatically. For us, a volume of 9000 litre per day is essential to handle the freight cost," Sinha explained.
Apart from this, the federation is also considering setting up a base in Siliguri for packaged drinking water to serve the north Bengal market.